Today's soundtrack: Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home
"Breaking eggs with a big stick" is one of my mother's expressions (she's got a few) that I have always taken to mean 'taking a lot on, getting loads done'. Which is what I've been doing today. I googled the expression though, just to see if I was right. Apparently it actually means doing things in a showy or ostentatious manner...so I've been wrong all these years.
I don't care. I'll carry on using it the way I've always used it.
So I've been breaking eggs with a big stick today.
Started out by taking myself off to Tesco to do the shopping. (In Northwich, not Helsby - I'm still boycotting that store until they revise their checkout policy. However I have to go to Tesco somewhere to get the points on the credit card!) That done, it was back home to clean the fridge out. Actually, I'll rephrase that. It was back home to disinfect the fridge, which had sadly degenerated into a state of some squalor. So it was out with the Mr Muscle, all detachable parts chucked into the dishwasher, and the fridge innards sprayed and swabbed. Happily our fridge is now so clean, you could store food in it. Safely.
Having got the fridge into shape, it was on with the (metaphorical) pinny to get some cooking done. " Yay!" shouts the Massive. "Recipes! At last!!" Well, ok then. Reflecting my current circumstances, it was bread and soup again.
But posh bread and soup. I have standards, you know.
Bread was (of course) made in the breadmaker, but this time with added seedy stuff. Linseed, poppy seeds, sesame seed, sunflower and pumpkin seeds all added to the regular white bread mix. And we'll be nothing if not regular with all that lot flushing through our system.
I know. Too much information.
So the soup - carrot and coriander today. With three separate coriander elements to consider. Firstly fry up an onion (or two, if they are little) in some oil, along with a teaspoon or two of ground coriander.
While the coriander and onion are frying off, dry roast some coriander seeds (again, a teaspoon or two) in a hot frying pan (just the seeds, no fat or oil) until they begin to brown. Using a pestle and mortar, crush the seeds until you have a fine powder and add that to the onion mix.
Take a couple of pounds of carrots and chop up into discs and add to the pan. I also added a couple of sticks of celery (to add some depth to the flavour) and a couple of peeled, chopped potatoes (to help thicken the soup) but these are optional - it's the carrots that are important (like, duh!). Stir them round so they are coated in the spice mix, then add some stock (again, I used chicken but vegetable stock would be fine) to cover the vegetables. Add some water if you need to to achieve coverage.
Bring to a boil then leave to simmer for as long as you like, but at least until the veg are tender. Whizz them all up with your whizzy thing until you have a smooth texture. Take a pot of fresh coriander, and snip the stalks into the soup. Stir this round and cook gently for a while. Then add the coriander leaves and stir gently. Your soup's now ready for freezing (and eating), although you might want to stir in some cream or creme fraiche before serving.
Phew! And if that wasn't enough, while all the cooking was going on, I tidied up my 'study' (my den, really), putting shedloads of free magazine cds into big storage boxes I bought at Homebase yesterday, and then I got out into the garden to tidy up some of the lawn edges, trim the plants around the border and re-compost the flower beds.
Not bad eh? I'm goosed now though. Oh, and I've also got a meeting in my diary with a recruitment consultant in Chester arranged for Friday morning as well. Also toying with applying for a job advertised on t'internet today, although as it's overseas we need to have a talk about it before I commit.
Postman delivered a CD today I've been waiting for for a while - it's a CD by Richard Hawley, recorded live at the charmingly-named 'Devil's Arse' cavern in the Peak District. It's been uploaded to iTunes, but I've yet to give it a listen. But you should investigate Richard Hawley anyway. The self-styled 'specky twat from Sheffield' has a voice like treacle and a delightful way with a lyric and a tune. I commend 'Coles Corner' to you in particular.
And apropos of completely nothing - have you ever wondered what Led Zep's 'Stairway to Heaven' would have sounded like if it had been written and recorded in 1964 by the Beatles instead? Of course you have!
Well wonder no more....
I've already written about Bob Dylan, and already written too much today, so I'll not dwell on today's soundtrack except to say that 'Bringing It All Back Home' is one of the greatest albums ever made - by anyone, ever. Recorded in 1965 and as relevant now as it was then, on the cusp of Dylan's switch to 'electric' music, it includes biting social commentary (Maggie's Farm, Subterranean Homesick Blues) beautiful love songs (She Belongs to Me, Love Minus Zero) and pure poetry (Gates of Eden, It's Alright Ma). Oh, and pop songs (Mr Tambourine Man) as well.
If you wish to understand why some believe Dylan to be a genius, you could do worse than start here.
You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.....